You have an idea. Not just a good one, but a GREAT one. You can feel it emanating through your subconscious until it invades your every waking thought saying, “This isn't just a fantastic idea, it's a business!”
In a mad search for facts, you are consumed with researching and building your business plan and determining your financial capital. Like an Entrepreneurial Whisperer, you make fast connections and expand your networks. Suddenly, everyone wants to help you with your business and your vision is finally materializing. As all the planets fall into alignment, have you taken a moment to ask yourself “Do I really have what it takes to run my own business?”
Yes, a strong belief in your concept and a positive attitude are essential for building a business; but as a survivor of a company that once flourished – then flopped – I can tell you that the realities of your first years in business can make any thick skinned individual blister and bleed. What you need to do is calculate your personal inventory – or what I call Personal Capital – the vital components to achieving a balanced professional and personal life.
What support do you have in place to help when you're:
a) Sleep-deprived due to the many late nights writing business plans, reviewing finances and leases, developing marketing strategies, accounting, networking.
b) Sick as a dog and unfortunately, it happens more frequently when you're stressed. I once gave an interview to CTV with a high fever and debilitating body aches because I did not want to miss the opportunity for more media exposure during the beginning of the recession.
c) Out of Money 🙁
d) All of the above
It’s very easy to plan for these situations ahead of time:
- Contact a business mentor who can offer their experience and advice in your related industry.
- If in a personal relationship, ensure that your partner truly believes in your ability and is willing to help you along the way, both emotionally and financially. You need to determine how much time and money you both can afford to sacrifice.
- If you want to start a family, or currently have kids under the age of 4, take heed, as those formative years are the most important for proper development of your children and that of a happy and functional family. I say this with good intention as I had a total of 4 days off during my first year of business.
- If single, speak with your friends and family to find out if they can be there for you on the days when you're expected to be at three places at one time.
- Don't try to be a super hero and do it all. Hire good employees, or contractors and a good accountant. Get yourself a housekeeper because you can't be expected to wash the toilets at the end of an exhausting 14-hour work day.
The ongoing demands and pressures of operating a business can affect your physical and mental health if you don't learn to deal with stress effectively. Do consider these lifestyle changes to help you cope:
- Make time for physical exercise to re-energize and limber your body and mind. (Running from your car to Starbucks for that double espresso does not count!)
- Consider regular sessions with a business mentor or therapist that can listen and advise appropriately. It doesn't mean you're crazy, it means you’re responsible.
- Learn to laugh and enjoy the ride as much as you possibly can.